Get writing ideas and topics with the Genealogy.com Biography Assistant
In the late 19th century, the U.S. economic structure changed. Farmers and small businesses gave up their reign and big business was born. Pick this Topic to show how this change affected his/her lifestyle.
In the late 1800's more and more factories and large businesses took root in the U.S. Did the industrialization of the U.S. affect him?
- What was his/her occupation? What about the occupations of other family members? Did he/she do farm work or hand crafts such as furniture making or shoe making? With the spread of factories, did his/her occupation change? Did his/her skills become obsolete?
- At this point in time, more and more people began living in cities and towns instead of in rural areas. Where did he/she live? In a city or in the country? Was it away from the family home?
- Did he/she ever work in any of the big factories? What did the factory make? What was his/her job? What were the working conditions like?
- During this period, the number of working railroads grew dramatically. Was his/her lifestyle affected by this change? Was his/her family able to get goods much more quickly? Did they have access to more goods? Did they travel at all?
- Railroad companies had the power of eminent domain, meaning they could force people to sell their land at a certain price and then build the railroad on it. Did he/she or his/her family encounter this? What happened?
- Many people began purchasing factory-made goods at this point in time, instead of making things at home. Did he/she do this? Did he/she purchase furniture or pre-made clothing? What about packaged food? Did this make his/her life easier?
- Large corporations were created during the period of industrialization. Was he/she involved in this movement? Did he/she start a large business? Did he/she work for a corporation?
- Many people resented big business because they felt that it had too much power. Did he/she make his/her opinions known on this subject? Did he/she have any good or bad experiences with corporations? What did he/she think of the anti-trust movement?
- Unions gained popularity during this period. Did he/she join one? Why or why not? Did he/she ever participate in a strike?
- Department and chain stores also came into existence during the period of industrialization. Did he/she ever go to one? Did the chain stores put any small family stores that he/she owned or shopped in out of business?
- How did he/she feel about the industrialization of the United States? Did he/she like the new style of businesses and cities that were cropping up? Would he/she have preferred that the country remain a nation of farmers and small businesses?